Jussi Simpanen

Jussi Simpanen is a young indie dev from Finland. He makes really polished games for jams. His last entry is called Shine (made in 48 hs. for Ludum Dare #28). And now he answers our questions!


Simpanen by Aldeguer!

1. How long have you been making games?

I have been making games for about 2 and half years or so. I have drawn art my whole life, but I didn’t start making games until I discovered Stencyl.

2. Where do you find ideas for your games? Tell us something about your creative process.

I grew up with Nintendo consoles and I love everything pixel art and retro. I wish to play lots of cool games similar to what were released in my childhood, but technology and games industry marches on and big developers are very unwilling to try anything new or take risks anymore. When I make games, I aim to make something that I myself would find fun to play. I browse lots of sites with pixel art and come up with different mechanics, wondering how they could work and how I could make them fun. I like designing worlds, characters and coming up with stories for them.

3. You made six games for Ludum Dare (from LD #23 to #28). It’s kinda obvious you love LD jamming! What is your favourite story or anecdote concerning Ludum Dare? Any favourite feedback you remember?

Ludum Dare 27 was probably my favorite, I was developing Duke Dashington at the time and it was the first time I was livestreaming my game development. During the stream over whopping 40 people were watching and everyone was really excited to see how the game progressed, offered suggestions and ideas, helped me test the early build of the game, etc. So many people were interested and excited about what I do and were really supportive. It was amazing feeling.

4. Shine is your last game, made in 48 hs for Ludum Dare #28. Where does its idea come from?

I once came up with a game idea about a girl lost in dark, haunted mansion, where she only had a huge and heavy iron lantern she could carry around and light her way through the dark. I didn’t know how to make multiple light sources with Stencyl, so I put the game idea on hold. When I was thinking of ideas for this Ludum Dare, I remembered the idea of the girl in the darkness and took the lighting idea from it and simplified it from a lantern to an orb you could move around with your mouse. The LD theme was You Only Have One, and in Shine you only get one source of light. I thought it was a great idea and build my game around that.

5. You publish your games at Newgrounds. Why there?

My games have been much better received on Newgrounds than on any other gaming site, like Kongregate, where folks are extremely picky about what they like. It also helps that Stencyl has very easy to use functions for implementing things like Newgrounds medals and scoreboards.

6. Your art is amazing. What are your influences?

Classic games, especially ones released for old Nintendo systems like NES, SNES and Game Boy. I like games with great pixel art and huge worlds to explore, like Final Fantasies and Zeldas. My absolute favorite series is probably Wario Land games on Game Boy.

7. If you have to choose three and only three game developers to follow their work closely, which ones would you choose and why?

First would be Joakim Sandberg, who made Noitu Love and is working on the crazy awesome Iconoclasts. Second would be Paul Veer, the pixel artist of Vlambeer I met once and he really knows his stuff when it comes to classic games and he is awesome pixel artist and animator. Third would be Simon Andersen, who is working on the amazing looking Owlboy. Did I mention that I really like pixel art?

8. Are you a heavy gamer? What games are you playing now?

I used to play lots of different games on various consoles, but these days I find myself spending more time making games than actually playing them. There just aren’t many games that interest me anymore, AAA stuff is too boring. When I get around to play some games though, I usually do it on PC. Lately I’ve enjoyed games like Rogue Legacy, Terraria and Starbound. I like games with hard but fair difficulty, exploring huge worlds, building things and heavy customization of characters and environment. And of course great pixel art.

9. One last random question. If you could redesign human body, how would it be?

Having wings to fly with would be really kickass way to go to places and do some adventuring.

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